Rotherham United F.C.: Wikis


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Rotherham United
Rotherham logo
Full name Rotherham United Football Club
Nickname(s) The Millers
Founded 1888
Ground Don Valley Stadium
(Capacity: 25,000)
Chairman Tony Stewart
Manager Ronnie Moore
League League Two
2008–09 League Two, 14th
Home colours
Away colours

Rotherham United Football Club (also known as 'The Millers/The Merry Millers') are an English professional football club based in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, who compete in League Two, the fourth tier of English football.

The club's colours have traditionally been red and white, although these have evolved through history. Their current home strip is red and white; their away kit is light blue with white trim.

The Millers played all their home games at Millmoor in Rotherham from 1907 to 2008, but have temporarily moved to the Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield, the largest athletics stadium in the UK, whilst a community stadium in Rotherham is built.

The club have spent the majority of their history in the Football League's third tier, though their most recent success came in the early 2000s when they found themselves competing in the Football League Championship, the second tier of English football. Since that time, Rotherham has struggled with finances, entering into administration twice in as many years. Rotherham United were therefore one of three teams to start the 2008/09 League Two season on negative points, being deducted 17 points by the Football League.


The Chuckle Brothers

As honorary club presidents, the Chuckle Brothers have played a pivotal role in Rotherham United's recent successes. The football club has been able to build upon a successful press call hosted by Barry and Paul in 2008 with several cup runs and also by overturning the 17 point penalty handed down to 'The Millers'. Despite busy work commitments, Paul and Barry Chuckle maintain their close oversight of the football club..[1]


The first Rotherham United kit (1925)

The club traces its roots back to 1870[2]. The club was formed as Thornhill Football Club (later Thornhill United)[2]. For many years the leading team in the area was Rotherham Town F.C., who spent three seasons in the Football League while Thornhill United were still playing in the Sheffield & Hallamshire League. By the turn of the century, however, Rotherham Town had resigned from the Football League and gone out of business; a new club of the same name later joined the Midland League[2]. Meanwhile, Thornhill's fortunes were on the rise to the extent that in 1905 they laid claim to being the pre-eminent club in the town and changed their name to Rotherham County For a period both clubs competed in the Midland League, finishing first and second in 1911-12. When the Great War ended, it was decided to extend The Football League by creating four new places in Division Two. Rotherham County, who had been champions of the Midland League in 1915 before the competition was suspended, were elected to one of the vacancies.

The Second Division was rather too tough for the Yorkshire side and in 1923 they were relegated to Division Three (North). In 1925 the club finished bottom and had to apply for re-election. Rotherham Town were themselves struggling and it was clear that to have two professional clubs in the town was not sustainable. Talks had begun in February 1925 and in early May the two clubs merged to form Rotherham United. Days later the reformed club was formally re-elected under its new name.

In a new amber and black strip, United may have begun with optimism but the new club fared little better than the old one. The now familiar red and white was adopted around 1928 but there was no improvement in the club's fortunes: in 1931 they again had to apply for re-election. Immediately after the Second World War things looked up. After adopting Arsenal-style white sleeved shirts, United finished as runners-up three time in succession between 1947 and 1949 and then were champions of Division Three (North) in 1951.

Rotherham reached their highest ever league position of third in the Football League Second Division in 1955, when only goal average denied them a place in the top flight after they finished level on points with champions Birmingham City and runners-up Luton Town.

The club held on to its place in Division Two until 1968 and then went into a decline that took them down to Division Four in 1973. In 1975 they were promoted back to the Third Division winning the championship.

The Millers won the division three title in 1981. Not only did the Millers pip one of their neighbours, Barnsley, to the championship but the double they recorded over Sheffield United helped send them tumbling into the fourth division.

Rotherham had a dismal first half of the 1981-82 season but a surge after the turn of 1982 saw them emerge as surprise promotion contenders for the first time in nearly 30 years. This was the first season of 3 points for a win rather than 2 in the league, and in the end they missed out on promotion by a mere 4 points by finishing seventh. They have not finished this high ever since. [1]

The highlights of this campaign were undoubtedly their two meetings with Chelsea. Firstly the Millers thrashed the Londoners 6-0 at Millmoor before triumphing 4-1 at Stamford Bridge in the return in front of just 11,900 fans.

This exciting but ageing team, which included the attacking talents of John Seasman, Tony Towner, Rodney Fern and Ronnie Moore could not maintain this level of performance, however, although it was something of a surprise to see them relegated again the very next year.

By 1988, United were relegated to the Fourth Division but were promoted a year later as champions.



During the 1990s Rotherham were promoted and relegated between the Football League's lowest two divisions with some regularity. They slipped into the Fourth Division in 1991, just two years being promoted, but reclaimed their status in the third tier (renamed Division Two for the 1992-93 season due to the launch of the FA Premier League) by finished third in the Fourth Division in 1992. They survived at this level for five years, never looking like promotion contenders, before being relegated in 1997.

However in 1996, Rotherham made their first trip to Wembley, beating Shrewsbury 2-1 to win the Football League Trophy.

In 1997, just after relegation to Division Three, one of the clubs greatest ever players Ronnie Moore took charge of Rotherham United and became the clubs greatest and most succesfull manager. His first season ended in a mid-table finish and then his second in a play-off semi final defeat on penalties to Leyton Orient. It was third time lucky in 1999-2000 as Rotherham finished as Division Three runners-up and gained promotion to Division Two. They were favourites to be relegated in 2000-01 season, but surprised many by finishing runners-up in Division Two and gaining a second successive promotion to Division One. They beat Brentford at a sold out Millmoor 2-1 with Alan Lee scoring the historic goal on one of the most historic days in the clubs history. During this highly successful campaign, Rotherham also comfortably beat Premiership side Southampton in the FA Cup.

Rotherham managed to remained in Division One for four seasons, their most successful of which was the 2002–03 campaign. The Millers were in contention for a play-off place, but dropped off near the season's end to finish 15th, their lowest position all season. During their time in the Championship they managed some historic wins including a two wins against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough, a home win against West Ham United. When the Millers sold Alan Lee to Cardiff City and struggled without the Irish international's goals, finishing 17th. A highlight of the season was a 1–1 draw with Arsenal in the League Cup at Highbury.

2006-08 financial troubles

During The 2004-05 season, the club struggled and spent most of the seaon bottom of the league and the club was bought by a consortium called millers 05, finally Rotherham were relegated. Ronnie Moore resigned during the relegation campaign. Mick Harford took over as Millers manager but was sacked after a run of 17 games without a win, to be replaced by Alan Knill. Early in 2006 it was announced that the club faced an uncertain future unless a funding gap in the region of £140,000 per month could be plugged. The problem was compounded as Rotherham had already sold their ground to Ken Booth in return for clearing £3m of debt and had no tangible assets, so administration was not a viable option. This led to the launch of a "Save Our Millers" campaign, aiming to raise the £1m needed to complete the season. It was also estimated that another £1m was required to complete work on the new stand. South Yorkshire neighbours Sheffield United offered their support by paying the wages of Stephen Quinn and Jonathan Forte during their loan spells at Millmoor, and also donated profits from the beam-back of the Sheffield derby. Many local clubs also held collections.

An eleventh hour intervention by a consortium of local businessmen offering substantial investment and a new business plan averted a possible dissolution of the club. Dennis Coleman took over as Rotherham United chairman, and made an immediate positive impact.[3]

The final match of the 2005-06 season, home to MK Dons, was a winner-take-all relegation showdown. A scoreless draw, combined with a Hartlepool United draw with Port Vale, kept Rotherham up and consigned both MK Dons and Hartlepool to the drop. However, Rotherham were to start the following season with a penalty of minus 10 points as a result of their financial troubles.

Rotherham United began their second successive year in League One with a 10-point deficit as a result of the CVA which saved the club from liquidation. At one point during the close season, the team had only seven full-time professionals on the books but Knill made a number of signings during this period to bolster the squad including former Liverpool winger Richie Partridge, ex-Premiership players Delroy Facey and Martin Woods, former Bayern Munich and Nottingham Forest star Eugen Bopp and many others who have played at a higher level.

On 16 September, after three wins and two draws in their first nine games, Rotherham gained their first point in the league. They moved off the bottom of the table on 14 October, and after a run of three successive victories they moved out of the relegation zone after a 5-1 win against Crewe Alexandra on 28 October. After winning every league game in October, Knill was awarded the Manager of the Month and Yorkshire Manager of the Year awards.

At the arrival of the January transfer window, Knill sold stars Lee Williamson and Will Hoskins to Premiership side Watford for a combined fee in the ranges of £1.2 million.[4] However, losing their two best players undoubtedly took its toll on the Millers, who sunk back to the bottom of the table after winning only one match in three months. By the end of February, the Millers sat 13 points adrift of safety, making the threat of relegation almost inevitable. This resulted in Knill being sacked on March 1, with Mark Robins becoming caretaker manager. Robins's position was made permanent on 6 April 2007,[5] but he was not able to save Rotherham from relegation.

The Millers spent the majority of the 2007–08 season in the automatic promotion places, winning eight consecutive league matches towards the end of the year. However, in mid-March 2008 it was revealed that Rotherham had again entered administration and would be deducted 10 points. This was a accompanied by a drop in form and Rotherham finished ninth in the league. Towards the end of the season, it was revealed that local businessman Tony Stewart was to take over as Chairman and Club Owner, but was advised not to exit administration via a CVA, meaning an additional points deduction for the following season.

On 6 August, just three days before the start of the season, the Football League threatened to block Rotherham (as well as Bournemouth) from participating in League Two for the 2008-09 season, because the club had not yet exited administration or completed the process of transferring ownership. The Football League ruled that accepting the 17-point deduction would be a condition the team must obey to be eligible to play, which was accepted.[6]

In addition, Rotherham United were forced to leave Millmoor, their home of over 100 years, after disputes with the landlords. Being further into debt, Rotherham also sold their training ground at Hooten Roberts and now train at Doncaster Rovers' Keepmoat Stadium renting out one of their pitches.

This led to further complications after the Football League demanded a £750,000 bond for the team to play outside of the Town's boundaries for a maximum of four years. The club must move back to Rotherham within this time period, or face losing their Football League share.[7]

New beginning

Under the new ownership of Tony Stewart Rotherham kicked off their first game of the 200809 season at the Don Valley stadium with a 1-0 win against Lincoln City.

The Millers had an impressive season under the new regime, quickly wiping out the point deficit and being in contention for a play-off place until very late in the season. Rotherham were also involved in two cup runs, reaching the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Northern Final, and the Carling cup last 16. This included victories over higher league opposition in the form of Wolverhampton Wanderers, Southampton, Sheffield Wednesday, Leicester City and Leeds United.

Despite losing top scorer Reuben Reid to West Bromwich Albion, Mark Robins kept the majority of the team together from the 2008/09 campaign whilst bolstering his squad with the signings of Tom Pope, Adam le Fondre, Nicky Law, Jamie Annerson, Paul Warne, Andy Liddell and Kevin Ellison.

The Millers continued their good run of form into the season, winning 3 of their first 4 games, before beating Derby County in the cup. The next week saw the millers close to completing another giant killing narrowly losing 4-3 to West Brom after extra time and being knocked out of the Football League Trophy at the hands of Huddersfield Town.

It was announced that Mark was in talks with the Millers' South Yorkshire neighbours Barnsley on 3 September. Following this announcement, Chairman Tony Stewart relieved Robins of his managerial duties, placing him on 'Gardening Leave'. Assistant manager John Breckin took charge of the team overseeing their 3-1 win over Chesterfield, moving the Millers to top of the league. However, that evening Barnsley FC requested to speak with Breckin, along with first-team coach Steve Taylor and fitness coach Nick Daws, with regards to following Mark Robins to Oakwell. All 3 accepted, and were subsequently placed on gardening leave along with Robins. An announcement was set to be made at 2.15pm on Monday 7 September to unveil Robins as the new manager of Barnsley, however talks stalled due to a disagreement over compensation. [8] Mark finally left the millers on Wednesday 9 September, having signed a contract with Barnsley the previous evening, leaving Steve Thornber in temporary charge.

The millers drew their first two matches under Thornber's charge. A press conference was called on Friday 25 September 2009 to confirm the return of Millers legend Ronnie Moore as Rotherham United manager. Jimmy Mullen was later confirmed as his assistant. The following day, Ronnie was unveiled to the millers faithful at the home game against Barnet which the South Yorkshire club won 3-0.

In January 2010 it was announced that the Guest And Chrimes site had been purchased and would be the new home of the club in the next few years.


Guest And Chrimes

In January 2010 the club announced that their new stadium would be built on the former Guest And Chrimes Foundry site in the town centre. [2] The stadium is planned to open within the next two years with an initial capacity of 12,000, later expansion to 16,000 being possible. [3]

Don Valley Stadium

As of the 2008–09 season Rotherham United relocated to the Don Valley Stadium in nearby Sheffield following a breakdown in talks with the landlords of Millmoor, who have threatened court action in order to retain certain privileges should the club be sold to new owners, leading to the club deciding that they could no longer play at their historic home ground. The new chairman Tony Stewart then relocated the club to the 25,000 seater stadium while the club's new stadium in Rotherham is built.

The stadium has a total capacity of 25,000 making it one of the largest grounds in League 2. Apart from Brighton it is the only league stadium to have a running track around the pitch. But despite the track the stadium is quite modern especially compared to the clubs former home of Millmoor.[9]


The club's traditional home is Millmoor in Rotherham. On one side of the ground is the site of the new Main Stand which is unfinished. It was hoped that the 4,500 capacity which is single tiered, all seated and covered, would be completed sometime during the 2006/07 season, but this did not come to fruition until the ground became disused in 2008. On the other side of the ground is the Millmoor Lane Stand, which has a mixture of covered and open seating. Roughly each section on this side is about a third of the length of the pitch. The covered seating in the middle of this stand looks quite distinctive, with several supporting pillars and an arched roof. Both ends are former terraces, with several supporting pillars and have now been made all seated. The larger of the two is the Tivoli End, used by home fans. It was noticeable that the pitch slopes up towards this end. The ground also benefits from a striking set of floodlights, the pylons of which are some of the tallest in the country at approximately 124 feet high.

Away fans were housed in the Railway End where normally just over 2,000 fans can be accommodated. This end is covered and all seated. An unusual feature is that away fans could only access this end via a small, narrow alleyway. In 2003 West Ham United's players famously refused to change in the dressing rooms at Millmoor.[10]

Club staff

Board members

  • Chairman:[11] Tony Stewart
  • Directors:[11] Terry Stewart.
  • Chief Operating Officer:[11] Paul Douglas
  • Operations Director:[11] Julie Hunt.
  • Financial Director:[11] Karen Thomas.
  • Commercial Director:[11] Steve Coakley.
  • Media Officer:[11] Matthew Young.
  • Commercial sales:[11] Mark Hitchens.

Team management


As of 11 August 2009.[12]

Current squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 England GK Andy Warrington
2 England DF Dale Tonge
3 England DF Jamie Green
4 England MF Danny Harrison
5 England DF Ian Sharps (captain)
6 England DF Nick Fenton
7 Republic of Ireland MF Michael Cummins
9 England FW Tom Pope
10 England MF Nicky Law
11 England DF Stephen Brogan
12 Antigua and Barbuda DF Marc Joseph
14 England DF Mark Lynch
15 England MF Kevin Ellison
16 England MF Paul Warne
No. Position Player
17 England MF Gary Roberts
18 Scotland FW Craig McAllister (on loan from Exeter City)
19 Republic of Ireland DF Gavin Gunning (on loan from Blackburn Rovers)
20 England FW Ryan Taylor
21 England FW Marcus Marshall (on loan from Blackburn Rovers)
23 England MF Josh Walker (on loan from Middlesbrough)
25 England MF Pablo Mills (vice-captain)
26 England DF David Haggerty
27 England MF Abdulai Bell-Baggie (on loan from Reading)
29 Scotland MF Andy Liddell
30 England GK Jamie Annerson
31 England GK Jonathan Lund (on loan from Burnley)
39 England FW Adam Le Fondre

For recent transfers, see List of English football transfers summer 2009.

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
8 England MF Jason Taylor (at Rochdale until the end of the 2009–10 season)
22 England MF Drewe Broughton (at Lincoln City until 18 March 2010)
24 England DF Andy Nicholas (at Mansfield Town until the end of the 2009–10 season)

Notable former players

The following players have made appearances for their respective national sides or made significant contributions to football at the club level.

Republic of Ireland
See also Cat:Rotherham United F.C. players.

Club records

  • Record League victory: 8-0 v Oldham at Millmoor, Division 3 North, 26 May 1947)
  • Record Cup victory: 6-0 v King's Lynn at Millmoor, FA Cup Second Round, 6 December 1997)
  • Record defeat: 1-11 v Bradford City, Division 3 North, 25 August 1928)
  • Record home attendance at the Millmoor: 25,170 vs Sheff Utd, Football League Second Division, 13 December 1952
  • Record home attendance at Don Valley Stadium: 6,184 vs. Exeter City (2nd May 2009) Football League 2[13]
  • Record league points : 91, Division 2, 2000-01
  • Record league goals: 114, Division 3 (N), 1946-47
  • Record League goal-scorer: Gladstone Guest, 130 league goals, between 1946-1956
  • Record Cup goal-scorer:
  • Highest league scorer in a season:
  • Most goals in one match: 5 by Jack Shaw Vs Darlington, 25 November 1950
  • Most capped player: Shaun Goater (18 caps for Bermuda)[14]
  • Record appearances: Danny Williams, 459 league matches, 621 total matches
  • Youngest player:
  • Record Transfer Fee: £160,000 for Alan Lee
  • Record Fee Received: £850,000 from Cardiff City for Alan Lee
  • Record Gate Receipts: £106,182 Southampton FA Cup 3rd Round, 16 January 2002


Name Period Name Period
Billy Heald 1925–29 George Kerr 1983–85
Stan Davies 1929–30 Norman Hunter 1985–87
Billy Heald 1930–33 John Breckin 1987
Reg Freeman 1934–52 Dave Cusack 1987–88
Andy Smailes 1952–58 Billy McEwan 1988–91
Tom Johnston 1958–62 Phil Henson 1991–94
Danny Williams 1962–65 Gemmill and McGovern 1994–96
Jack Mansell 1965–67 Danny Bergara 1996–97
Tommy Docherty 1967–68 Ronnie Moore 1997–05
Jim McAnearney 1968–73 Mick Harford 2005
Jimmy McGuigan 1973–79 Alan Knill 2005–07
Ian Porterfield 1979–81 Mark Robins 2007–2009
Emlyn Hughes 1981–83 Ronnie Moore 2009-pres


  • Anton Johnson (1981-1983)
  • S. Wood (1984-1986)
  • Ken Booth (1989-2004)
  • Peter Rutnewicz / David Veal (2004-2006)
  • Dennis Coleman / Dino Macchio (2006-2008)
  • Tony Stewart (2008-present)

Assistant managers

Club Honours

FA Cup

Football League Cup

Football League Trophy

  • Winners - 1995–96
  • First team to score in a League Cup Final - 1961 vs Aston Villa[citation needed]
  • First team to win a Penalty Shootout in the FA Cup - 1991 vs Scunthorpe United[citation needed]
  • Most games won in a single month - 9 wins in February 1982[citation needed]
  • First ever black professional footballer - Arthur Wharton[citation needed]

Miller Bear is currently the mascot of Rotherham United. Miller Bear was named as Rotherham United's new mascot when they moved to Don Valley Stadium from their old stadium Millmoor. He replaced the old mascot Dusty Miller.

He is known for dancing to the music before matches and mocking opposing players when they fake an injury. He always wears Rotherham United's red home kit. On the back of his shirt is Miller written along the top and Bear along the bottom with the number 09 in the middle representing the current year

Famous fans

The Chuckle Brothers are honorary presidents.[15] Jamie Oliver[citation needed] and Muse bassist Chris Wolstenholme[citation needed] are known to be Millers fans, as is actor Dean Andrews[citation needed]. Howard Webb famous referee is also known as a Rotherham fan.[citation needed] Also , Bring Me The Horizon drummer Matt Nicholls is a fan , and has even "scored a goal" for the club.


The clubs shirt manufacturer is Carlotti, with the club having a sponsor for both the home and away kits. The Home shirt is sponsored by local shopping centre Parkgate Shopping. The Away shirt is sponsored by stadium advertising company Sport Identity.


  1. ^ Chuckle Brothers On Tour Rotherham United FC
  2. ^ a b c Twydell, Dave (1991). Football League Grounds For A Change. pp. 290–298. ISBN 0-9513321-4-7. 
  3. ^ Millers survival likely as new group takeover Rotherham United FC
  4. ^ "Millers stars sign for Watford". Rotherham United F.C.. 2007-01-05.,,10360~961094,00.html. Retrieved 2007-01-06. 
  5. ^ Millers name Robins as new boss BBC Sport, 6 April 2007
  6. ^ Rotherham accept points penalty BBC Sport, 7 August 2008
  7. ^ Troubled League Two clubs on the brink The Guardian, 6 August 2008
  8. ^ All is fair in love, war and appointing football managers?
  9. ^ "Booth threat could close Millers". BBC Sport Online. 2008-04-25. Retrieved 2008-06-16. 
  10. ^ West Ham's players refuse to change in the dressing rooms at Millmoor Independent, The (London), Aug 25, 2003
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h The Board Rotherham United FC
  12. ^ "Profiles". Rotherham United FC.,,10360,00.html. Retrieved 2007-10-24. 
  13. ^,,10360~200910360,00.html
  14. ^ Includes only those caps won whilst at Rotherham United
  15. ^ The Chuckle Millers Rotherham FC Official Website. Retrieved 2009-01-30.

External links

Preceded by
Birmingham City
Football League Trophy Winners
Succeeded by
Carlisle United

Simple English

Rotherham United F.C.
Full nameRotherham United Football Club
GroundDon Valley Stadium
(Capacity 25,000)
ChairmanTony Stewart
ManagerMark Robins
LeagueLeague Two
2008/09League Two, 14th

Rotherham United F.C. is a football club which plays in England.



  • 1877-1905 Thornhill United F.C.
  • 1905-1925 Rotherham County F.C.
  • 1925-present Rotherham United F.C.

League position

2000/01Second Division2nd
2001/02First Division21st
2002/03First Division15th
2003/04First Division17th
2004/05League Championship24th
2005/06League One20th
2006/07League One23rd
2007/08League Two9th
2008/09League Two14th

Former position



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